Golfers raised an eyebrow on Easter Sunday as balls of a slightly larger calibre went flying across the course.

The Willow Valley Golf Course near Brighouse played host to the first leg of the UK Footgolf North of England tour - where the beautiful game is merged with golf.

And the rules are exactly the same - just with bigger balls golf balls.

Matt Riches, who works for UK Footgolf, said: “It’s something that’s really taken off and is now played UK wide.”

Dozens of keen players eschewed their Easter eggs for a go at the game on Sunday, as they were pitted against world cup players Mikey Downey, Tom Spink and Marc Cowell, playing 18 holes for a chance to win 230 ranking points and vouchers.

North of England Footgolf championships at Willow Valley Golf Club. Organiser, Matt Riches (left) with first player off the tee, Gary Hobdey of Derbyshire.

Matt explained that the sport was holding tournaments in every region of the UK, with the winners from each to represent England internationally.

He said: “The rules of Footgolf are exactly the same as regular golf, it’s just that the ball is substituted for a football.

“The players have to get their ball into 21-inch holes across the course.

“It’s football, but not as you know it. There is none of the noise you get with football and the same respect for the course you would expect from a regular golfer.”

He added: “We do get a few raised eyebrows, but the bottom line is it’s great fun and it doesn’t take itself too seriously.

“We have both men and women’s divisions as well as matches for under-16s and over-45s. It’s very inclusive.

“And the good news is you don’t have to be a super-fit athlete to have a go either.”

The sport certainly seems to have taken off in Huddersfield, with another course just up the road at Bradley Park course. There are currently around 200 courses in the UK.

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Matt has been playing the game for two and a half years after a feature on the radio caught his attention.

“I’ve always been a big football and golf fan, but not very good at either. So I thought maybe two wrongs would make a right and gave it a go.”

If you’re interested in playing footgolf visit: www.ukfootgolf.com.